NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blue Jackets vs. Capitals (November 12)
Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Boone Jenner
Blue Jackets vs. Capitals Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||-135|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Washington Capitals are coming into Columbus for their second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, thanks to a shutout by Zach Fucale.
Columbus comes into this tilt winners of three straight games, two of which came against the Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche. Columbus has been electric at Nationwide Arena this season, skating to a 5-1 record on home ice.
How Is Columbus Doing It?
The Blue Jackets are another example of why hockey is so hard/fun to predict. Nobody expected much out of this team, but here it is sitting with the second-best points percentage (.700) in the tough Metropolitan Division.
The team is relying pretty heavily on its goaltending, as the Jackets rank sixth in the NHL with a .919 save percentage (SV%), while Elvis Merzlikins is seventh overall with a +6.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
That goaltending has helped gloss over some defensive issues, as the Jackets rank 27th in high-danger chances allowed and 26th in expected goals against at 5-on-5. Overall, the team has a +0.22 goal differential per hour at 5-on-5, but a -0.46 xG differential, so regression should be on the horizon for this team.
That being said, this team is clearly on the same page and playing great hockey, and with Merzlikins in form the Jackets will always be a tough out.
Be sure to keep an eye on some injury news out of Columbus for this one. Patrik Laine is out, Max Domi is listed as day-to-day, and Jakub Voracek is questionable.
Washington’s Power Play Has Been Quiet
The Washington Capitals are second in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-2-4 record and a +12 goal differential. There were plenty of people who were skeptical of the Caps before the season, but this team is firing on all cylinders right now.
In season’s past, the Caps have succeeded despite not posting the best 5-on-5 numbers, but that isn’t the case this time around. Washington has skated to a 54.8% expected goals rate and has the third-best 5-on-5 goal differential in the NHL.
Interestingly, Washington’s power play has yet to really click and ranks 21st with a 17% conversion rate. Despite that, Alex Ovechkin is tied for second in the NHL with 11 goals and looks like a force to be reckoned with at age 36.
Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Pick
The Capitals will likely start Ilya Samsonov in this matchup after going with Zach Fucale on Thursday night. Samsonov is a talented netminder, but struggled last season and is not off to a flyer in 2021/22. The Blue Jackets should have an edge in goal.
Throw in the fact that the Jackets have a rest advantage and are playing on home-ice and I think there is value backing the Jackets to pull the upset as a home underdog. Merzlikins should keep this one close and, even if the Jackets are short-handed, they should be able to get some rubber behind Samsonov.
Pick: Blue Jackets +110